Sunday, May 15, 2016

Reach Out and Touch Someone

We all know the power of a caring touch. Our mother's touch that could calm the worst fears, the teacher that dried our tears, the nurse who treated us, the hand holding ours at a funeral, the hand of our sweetheart caressing ours, the kind man helping us out of our car, or just a simple friendly handshake from a friend. That "touch" made us feel "Everything's gonna' be alright!"

Shouldn't we be reaching out and touching others also? Many of us do. We use our hands to pray for the sick, or to reach out with a congratulatory high-5 or fist-bump, or to shake someone's hand saying "Peace be with you", or to hug someone so tightly that they know they are loved.

In the 90s, I remember when my nephew, Mark David Lawrence, a Skilled Nursing Facility Administrator, opened an 8-bed AIDS unit in his facility. That was still at a time when healthcare workers and the general public were uneducated about the disease, and the rumors ran rampant as to how AIDS was spread. Mark and his medical team spent hours teaching and training. They opened the unit and were full within a few weeks. One day, during his daily rounds, he learned a valuable lesson about the power of a simple touch of his hand. He shook the hand of a new patient and held it for a moment. Tears welled up in the patient's eyes and he uttered the words, "You are touching me, and you're not wearing gloves." Out of all the classes and seminars he attended, the most valuable lesson Mark learned in caring for people, was simply the touch of his hand on someone who was hurting.

We had a large statue of Jesus in our back yard and when we purchased it, the hands were missing on it. Obviously, we got it at a very good price. Someone saw the statute and said, "You know why Jesus has no hands? Because WE ARE His hands on this earth!" That made sense to me, especially when I read St. Teresa of Avila's words.

“Christ has no body now but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which He looks compassion on this world.
Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good.
Yours are the hands through which He blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are His body.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
~ St. Teresa of Ávila

May we reach out to someone today and show them God's love by our touch.